As reported here: http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/tracy-kent-made-up-rape-7044003
A woman falsely told police she’d been sexually assaulted to get sympathy from her husband after a row.
Tracy Kent ripped her own clothes to make her bogus story more believable, Teesside Crown Court heard today.
Her lies led to a man being arrested and detained by police for three hours.
Kent called 999 claiming she’d been attacked by a stranger who’d tried to rape her.
She said she was approached from behind and punched to the ground by a man who tried to undo her belt.
Kent told officers she took a swing at her assailant and he grabbed and ripped her T-shirt, said prosecutor Emma Atkinson.
Her report of the supposed sex attack in the Wellington Square car park, central Stockton went to Cleveland Police’s major crime team.
Holes appeared in the 35-year-old’s story as a suspect was arrested, detained and bailed for further inquiries.
Kent stuck by her account when challenged over inconsistencies and spoken to by investigators seven times.
She knew someone had been arrested and that the police were preparing a press release.
The false report led to a police warning to the public over the potential dangers of walking home alone late at night.
It took a week - and extensive examination of CCTV - for Kent to admit she’d made up the allegations.
She said she and her husband had argued that night while out drinking.
She called him from a payphone, concocted the story and ripped her clothes.
Ms Atkinson told the court: “She said what she’d done had been with the aim of obtaining sympathy from her husband.
“She said she became too afraid to tell the truth, but finally realised she had to do so.”
She had wasted 64 hours of police time investigating her report to a total cost of £3,716.
Kent, of St John’s Way, Ragworth, Stockton , admitted perverting the course of justice.
Graham Brown, defending, said it was not a malicious targeted allegation.
He said Kent never expected anyone to be arrested and she was “hoist by her own petard”.
He told how Kent had suffered stress and pressure from the court case, made worse by the fact it took eight months to charge her after her confession.
He said she had mental health issues, with long treatment for depression and brain surgery three years ago.
Judge Howard Crowson said such a medical condition had to be verified by a doctor, and adjourned sentencing for this to be done.
He had received a letter saying Kent acted out of character following misfortunes in her life.
But he said: “My whole impression is that immediate custody is almost inevitable.”
Even confirmed health difficulties might only affect the length of a jail term, rather than persuade him to suspend the sentence, the judge added.
He told Kent: “I’ve always felt it would result in you serving a prison sentence.
“I don’t want to give you false hopes about that.
"I have no reason to think that I would do anything other than pass a prison sentence on you.”
Kent was bailed until sentencing on June 23.